Bosnia’s peace envoy altered national law to criminalize denying the Srebrenica genocide of 1955.
The legislation consequents a jail term of up to five years for anyone who “publicly condones, denies, grossly trivializes or tries to justify” the genocide. High Representative Valentin Inzko enacted the law days before the end of his 12-year term. On August 1st, he will be replaced by Germany’s Christian Schmidt. Of the decision, Inzko said, “Genocide in Srebrenica, war crimes and crimes against humanity … must not be forgotten or denied.”
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According to the United Nations, “Some 8,000 boys and men were killed by Bosnian Serb forces when they overran the town of Srebrenica during a regional war in the Balkans in July 1995, the largest atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.” Nationalist Bosnia Serbs are the primary deniers of the genocide, which is internationally recognized and has been condemned by multiple international courts.
Inzko continued, “Hate speech, the glorification of war criminals and revisionism or outright denial of genocide and war crimes prevent societies from dealing with their collective past, constitute renewed humiliation of the victims and their loved ones, while also perpetuating injustice and undermining interethnic relationships.”